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The best VEGAN cut-out cookies and icing. Also, allergies and decorating cookies with kids.

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I feel rather confident declaring these the best vegan cut-out cookies and decorating icing in the universe, not having ever left this world, because my picky daughter gobbled up about five of these. And she’s REALLY picky. And they taste good, especially with the icing. AND, they keep their shape beautifully. Gorgeously. Amazingly.  I made these before, and you can read about the journey to come up with the recipe HERE. This time around, I donated a cookie decorating activity to my daughter’s school auction. The pre-K class won. The snag, they have a child with a nut allergy and a child allergic to eggs and dairy. And icing is made with egg whites. As the children were all sharing the icing bags and so as to not single out two children, having reserved, isolated, dairy-free icing bags was not an option.

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have a kid with food allergies? And tips on cookie decorating with kids.

I was fortunate to be an early reader of Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl, by my good friend, Sandra Beasley. It changed my view of food allergies. I better see the risk-infested waters parents must wade through to keep their children alive. I will never underestimate the danger from even the slightest contamination. Which means  I:

• read ingredients closely

• washed my counters and hands and baking trays continuously

• used parchment paper to line trays

• didn’t even eat or touch anything that contained nuts the day I made these

• emailed extensive ingredient lists to both mothers with concerns and kept in touch with them

• had sanitizing wipes for each kid lest their lunch have lingered on their hands

• lined the tables with freezer paper, and each child had their own paper plate with their name on it for their cookies

• Not allergy-related, but useful: Skip the couplers and tips for kids, just fill decorating bags with icing, close tightly with rubber bands and snip about 1/2-inch from the tip.

 

Vegan?

And now, on to the vegan recipes. I made these for the kids’ cookie decorating activity for the child allergic to dairy and eggs, but these are a fabulous, (slightly healthier?) recipe for anyone who follows a vegan diet.

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vegan cut-out sugar cookies

2 sticks (8 ounces) vegan “butter” (Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks)

1 cup organic powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons water, mixed well (I used ENER-G egg replacer)

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

With a handheld electric mixer or in a standing mixer with the flat beater, cream together the vegan buttery sticks and the sugar. Add the egg mixture and blend. Mix in the vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix the flour and salt with a whisk and gradually blend into the wet mixture. Place the dough in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for two hours. (TIP: You may also refrigerate up to three days, just let the dough sit at room temperature enough to soften until pliable.) Briefly knead a chunk of the dough on a floured surface, roll about 1/4 inch thick, cut out shapes and place on a parchment paper-lined baking tray in a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. Cookies are done when the edges are golden. Let cool completely before decorating. Makes about 25 to 30 cookies, or 15 large cookies.

TIPS: I found the Ener-G egg replacer at the natural food store, which for fellow DC folks, means Yes! Organic Market. I also found the buttery sticks there, though you may be able to find those at Whole Foods.

UPDATE: Re: Bubbles! Julianne made a great point! YES, those are bubbles in the cookie surface! But I promise, these cookies are awesome and keep their shape. I had made about 100 of them, so by the end I was over-kneading and the last few got the bubbles. I packed up all the good ones for the kiddos so took pictures with the rejects. Gosh, that wasn’t wise, was it? :)

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easy vegan decorating icing

2 cups powdered sugar, plus additional

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

2 tablespoons soy milk, plus additional

1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (such as Crisco, optional, but it helps with the texture)

Mix all ingredients with a whisk or in with the wire whip in the standing mixer. Add more powdered sugar or soy milk, alternatively, to get the desired consistency. Divide, tint and fill decorating bags for decorating. If left at room temperature, uncovered, overnight, these will harden enough to handle.

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Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!


17 Comments

  1. Posted July 8, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Meaghan this post is so near to my heart. As a parent of a son with a peanut allergy I hate being “that parent” and my kid being “that kid.” I wish more people would embrace your attitude when dealing with children with food allergies.

  2. meaghanmountford
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Exactly! Seriously, you have to read my friend’s book. It changed how I view the entire universe of food allergies.

  3. Posted July 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    So cute! While we are fortunate to have avoided food allergies, my kids all have friends and we have a cousin with a life-threatening allergy. Great tips!

  4. Posted July 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    yay pretty vegan cookies!

  5. Julianne
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    The photos make these cookies look like they have lumps or bubbles on them, which wouldn’t make for a good decorating surface. Are my eyes deceiving me?

  6. Posted July 9, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I love this cookie recipe. I’ll have to check out that book, I don’t have any food allergies but my husband is allergic to onions and peppers (I know not quite the same) and I have a few family members that are gluten free and a best friend with a nut allergy,

  7. Posted July 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I have a great friend who’s son has a peanut allergy, every time I bake something for them I am very concern and careful the way I handle food and ingredients.I agree with Katrina, people should have better attitude when dealing with food allergies

  8. meaghanmountford
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    NOpe, Julianne, a couple had the bubbles. I’ve made them before and zero bubbles. I just overkneaded those.

  9. Posted July 10, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    we are so fortunate to not have any food allergies, but my best friend’s child does and this recipe will be a life saver to her. :)

  10. Karen
    Posted July 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that you posted this, I’ve been searching for a vegan recipe, but was always nervous how it tasted. You have saved me!! :) I have friends who have dairy allergies & my daughter has nut allergies, so this blog is very heart warming to me. Thank you for being understanding & so considerate!!

  11. Posted July 13, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I will definitely be passing this on to my vegan friends!!

  12. Kelsey
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    I just found this site today and wanted to thank you for this amazing recipe! My daughter has peanut,dairy and egg allergies and every other cookie recipe I have tried didn’t cook correctly until now! I didn’t use ENER-G because I wasn’t near a Whole Foods so I used apple sauce instead. We made Christmas cookies tonight so thank you so much for making that memory happen!

  13. meaghanmountford
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    YAY! That just made my morning!! Thank you so much, Kelsey. So glad they worked out for you. Also… next time, instead of running out to the store, I’m going to try applesauce. Brilliant!

  14. Lindsay
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I love the cookie recipe, and though the icing recipe is vegan and allergy free, it really isn’t healthy with the use of corn syrup. Corn syrup is a terrible sugar substitute that’s too overused. Vegans are typically very health conscious people who wouldn’t be thrilled with the notion of putting that (or crisco for that matter) in their bodies. I don’t want to come across as rude, because like I said I truly did love the cookie recipe!

  15. meaghanmountford
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Thanks Lindsay! I understand that vegans are health conscious, definitely, but I’m also a believer in “everything in moderation.” So I, for one, don’t have a problem with the occasional indulgence. I’m also a big believer in NOT assuming everyone who eats dairy-free is synonymous with “must be super healthy.” For those vegans that eat dairy free for purely health reasons, I agree, this is not the cookie for them. I am sure there are plenty of great, healthy cookie recipes out there, and I encourage them to go in that direction instead of visiting my blog. However, for those vegans who eat vegan for other reasons (allergies, morals, personal preference), and sometimes just want to indulge in a great cookie, or who want their allergic kid to get to have a treat sometimes like the other kids, well… this recipe is for them.

    Also, as for the corn syrup. While I agree, that downing sugar isn’t, um, healthy, “light corn syrup,” as used in the recipe is NOT the same as “high fructose corn syrup,” the super unhealthy stuff. I think that’s what you’re thinking of. The latter has been converted to fructose, which is not good for you. The former is 100 percent glucose.

    Thanks for your comment!

  16. Andrea
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Is there any chance you know how many eggs = egg replacer? My son isn’t vegan, just has an allergy to dairy.

  17. meaghanmountford
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Hi Andrea,
    For one egg, I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons of water. I found the egg replacer at a natural foods store, and I also believe that Whole Foods carries it.

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